By Chris King •
Updated: 19 Jun 2023 • 20:17
Image of a Renfe high-speed AVE train.
Renfe completed a new milestone in its internationalisation plan this Monday, June 19, after it announced historic new routes into France.
The company had already operated services on territory beyond the Pyrenees during its collaboration with the French state operator SNCF. When that deal came to an end, Renfe was left with access to the routes between both countries.
One of the new AVE France services (International AVE between Spain and France) will be a high-speed connection between the cities of Barcelona and Lyon from July 13.
Two weeks after this date, Renfe will start running AVE France fast and sustainable trains to link Barcelona and Madrid with Marseille.
As a result, the company will re-establish the original routes it covered while working with SNCF. A total of 9,700 tickets will be put on sale for these weekly journeys between Spain and France.
These services will link Barcelona, Girona and Figueres Vilafant with Lyon. Similarly, Madrid, Zaragoza, Camp de Tarragona, Barcelona, Girona and Figueres Vilafant will be linked with Marseille.
The trains will make several stops in French territory en route. These will include the stations of Narbona, Montpellier, Nimes, Avignon, and Aix -en-Provence.
Renfe’s arrival in France will be accompanied by a promotional offer to make itself known in the country. It will be possible to travel between Madrid and Marseille for 29 euros, between Barcelona and Lyon for 19 euros and with special prices of 9 euros for those routes that will link the French cities.
Raül Blanco, the President of Renfe, announced that tickets for these new services will go on sale from next Wednesday, June 21.
“France is a natural market, a firm commitment. Our will to operate there and to become a benchmark operator is permanent”, said Blanco.
He described today as: ‘historic’ for Renfe and for the entire national rail sector: “The trip between Barcelona and Lyon will be the first time that a Spanish train driver enters French territory on a commercial trip”, Blanco pointed out.
The President of Renfe also revealed the next milestone that he plans to achieve. This involves running its trains to Paris before the 2024 Olympic Games take place next summer in the French capital.
“We have the dream of taking Spanish athletes on a Renfe train”, he confessed, although he admitted that “some elements” were still missing.
These included the safety certificate required to operate on the high-speed line that goes further north from Lyon, as reported by lainformacion.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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